December 31, 2021 COVID-19 Update31 December 2021
Today a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on 4 West, the Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit at Riverview Health Centre. Two patients have tested positive.
Because your health and safety are very important to us, we want to update you on the activity that is underway to address this outbreak:
- No new admissions are being accepted onto this unit.
- All visitation to 4 West is being suspended until further notice.
- Patients will be asked to stay in their rooms outside of required medical treatments and will be expected to wear their masks as much as possible.
- We continue to use cleaning products known to be effective against this virus and have enhanced the frequency of cleaning on this unit.
- Staff continue to wear personal protective equipment and perform hand hygiene to prevent spreading of the virus within the unit.
- Group activities have been cancelled although one-on-one sessions for occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech language therapy, etc. will continue in patient rooms.
- To maintain physical/social distancing, all common areas on the unit are closed.
Thank you for your co-operation as we work to protect you, our staff and our community from COVID-19. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your care team or the Unit Manager on 4 West.
Here is more detail, provided by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) with respect to the suspension of general visiting previously addressed in the website update of December 29, 2021:
Manitoba is experiencing a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, with very high test-positivity right across the province. The new Omicron variant is extremely infectious, requiring some temporary additional precautions to ensure the protection of our most vulnerable community members.
Our collective goal is to keep COVID-19 out of personal care homes wherever possible and to minimize spread within the homes for both the safety of our residents and the protection of our workforce.
Following discussion with infection prevention and control experts and public health, we have made the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend both social visits and social leaves for all residents and patients.
All essential medical absences will continue and access for fully vaccinated designated family caregivers and essential care partners will not change. Currently, we will not be able to allow any visiting by persons who are not fully vaccinated, even in our visiting pods; the only exception for non-fully vaccinated visitors is at end of life, and additional safety precautions will be taken. Up to four (4) (that is, 2 additional) visitors will also continue to be permitted entry to the facility for end of life circumstances.
We know that this will be disappointing for family members and residents and we are committed to regularly assessing the need for these measures. It is our sincere hope that these additional precautions will be necessary only for a very short period of time.
Thank you for your understanding. If you have questions, please refer to the frequently asked questions document or reach out to us directly.
As you may have seen in various news media, health care staffing throughout the system has been seriously impacted by the pandemic, and Riverview Health Centre is now also affected more significantly. As of today, we now have a total of 11 staff members who are currently off work due to testing positive for COVID-19, with a number of others with symptoms awaiting test results. In short, our current staff sick time is much higher than we are equipped to manage, and we are putting working short plans in place throughout the facility.
Please know we will ensure all care and treatments that would have a negative health impact if not done will be prioritized, and we will support the safety of all our patients and residents, as we always do. Care, however, may temporarily look different, as we weather this storm. For example, it may not be possible to get people up as frequently as usual, they may need to be dressed in a hospital gown instead of their own clothes, and may sometimes receive a bed bath instead of a shower. However, those types of things are not unsafe. We know this will be difficult for our patients/residents, their loved ones, and our staff, as this is not ideal, and not how any of us wish it to be. Our staff will continue to do their very best, although that might look different than we are all used to for a while.
Once again, we thank you for your understanding at this very challenging time. We wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year. We are all hoping 2022 is a much better year!